Miami-based cruise companies saw their stocks plummet Tuesday as the spread of coronavirus rattled markets for the second day in a row.
The sell-off happened as Jamaica and the Cayman Islands denied permission to an MSC Cruises ship, the Meraviglia, to disembark passengers Tuesday as scheduled for fear that an ill crew member could have the virus. MSC Cruises, which is privately held, did not respond immediately for request for comment about the crew member.
The denials occurred one day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ratcheted up travel warnings for several countries in Asia and Europe.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. shares dropped more than 7% Tuesday to close at $89.55 per share, more than 16 points below Friday's closing price and down from its 52-week high of $135.32.
Carnival Corp.'s shares fell more than 5% Tuesday to close at $35.84, down almost 6 points from its Friday close and well below its 52-week high of $58.90. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. suffered as well, dropping more than 7.5% to $39.31 Tuesday, down more than 7.5 points from its Friday close and from a 52-week high of $59.78.
All three rebounded slightly in after-hours trading.
The overall market continued to sink Tuesday after Monday marked the worst drop for the market in two years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 879.44 points, or 3.1%, for a decline of almost 2000 points since Friday.
Airline stocks also continued to sink Tuesday, with American Airlines, down more than 9% to close at $23.12, almost 5 points below its Friday closing price. Delta Airlines fell more than 6% to close at $50.89, almost 7 points below its Friday closing. Miramar-based Spirit Airlines fell more than 7% to close at $34.71, more than 3.5 point below its Friday close.
Coronavirus, an upper respiratory disease, has has killed more than 2,700 people, mostly in mainland China, since it originated in the central Chinese province of Hubei late last year. A Carnival Corp. cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, became the largest point of contamination outside China as it was quarantined in Japan for two weeks earlier this month. Nearly 700 people caught the virus on board; four former passengers have died. Hundreds of crew members are still on board waiting to be transferred to their home countries.
Outside mainland China, the country most affected is South Korea, with nearly 1,000 cases and 10 deaths, according to a dashboard of cases compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. By Tuesday, Italy was reporting more than 300 coronavirus cases and three deaths, with several towns quarantined from outside contact. Venice's famed Carnaval was cancelled, and museums have been closed.